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  • Stevia?

    Is it okay to use stevia? I can't see that it is a problem as it is 0 calories, 0 carbs and natural, but I haven't seen it mentioned here. I use the liquid in my coffee and sometimes in my smoothie depending on what is in it.

  • #2
    Check the ingredients. I don't know about the liquid, but the stuff in packets is often packaged with sugar or dextrose (maltose?)

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    • #3
      Mark says something about Stevia in PB.. to stay away from it. But I cannot recall the reason... maybe someone else can chime in.
      View all problems as challenges. Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow. Don't run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence. You have a problem? Great. More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.
      - Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

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      • #4
        One reason to avoid it is that sometimes (well, a lot) they use ethyl something or other in it, which can cause an insulin spike.

        I could be wrong though.
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        • #5
          Stevia is an herb-based non-caloric sweetener that is available in the U.S. as a dietary supplement. Native to Paraguay, you can buy stevia in whole-leaf form or as a powder extract that you dissolve in water. The pull of this ďalternativeĒ sweetener is that itís not part of the artificial crowd. Itís used in many corners of the globe and is considered safe for diabetics. Like sucralose, it packs a powerful punch. A few drops of the liquid have about the same sweetening power as an entire cup of sugar. Also like sucralose, it can be used for baking. The biggest drawback of stevia: many complain that it has a very defined and unappealing underlying flavor. Some say itís an acquired taste. Others say itís a taste not worth acquiring.

          Ah, to each, his or her own! Meanwhile, anything you can do to wean yourself off that generic craving for sweetness is probably a good thing.
          The above is from Marks posting on artificial sweeteners... http://www.marksdailyapple.com/artificial-sweeteners/

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          • #6
            Yes they do, however various brands make an ethanol-free version.

            I honestly don't know what could be wrong with it. It has a long history of use and no side-effects have been reported. It will cause a little bit of an insulin spike even though it's non-caloric but if used with fruit in a pudding or something, that's not much of an issue. I should probably axe mine for a little while just in case but it's so yummy
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            • #7
              Both the liquid and powder say just stevia. Also says zero calories, zero carbs, zero glycemic index.

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              • #8
                Brands like truvia, for example, add erythritol to the powder. This is a sugar alcohol which is supposed to be safe to consume, as it is not absorbed by the body and simply passes through with no ill effects. Because it is not digested by the body, I would doubt that it would cause an insulin spike.

                The caveat is that most of us here did not live primal all of our lives. We therefore at grain products and sugar/sweet products. Whenever we ate those, our bodies would experience an insulin spike. Therefore, after a while, it is possible that through simple pavlonian conditioning, our bodies would associate any sweet taste with an insulin spike. Therefore, I would also imagine that anyone who is just getting into PB may want to wane of the sweets for quite a while, as the insulin spike may be present (despite the zero calories and zero carbs) due to conditioning.

                Because the effect of conditioning does fade after a while with no exposure to the stimulus, I would also posit that after a while of absconding from sweets, the body may forget its association and it would be possible to add it back to one's primal diet with no ill effects.

                As stabby said, stevia has been used for centuries in many a far away lands. Japan for example, uses stevia as 40% of their sweetener market, and they must be doing something right, as they are the thinnest industrialized nation.
                --
                Here it is, your moment of zen.

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                • #9
                  I have a big bag of stevia powder that I bought Pre-PB. While I have read that Stevia is good ( better than sugar, etc) insulin wise, I dont use it regularly because I find that nixing ALL sweeteners is the way to go.

                  But, when your non- primal boyfriend wants you to BAKE something SWEET for Sunday supper( oh no!), I Stevia is the best choice.

                  Here is what MDA has to say about stevia:

                  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/artificial-sweeteners/

                  And here is what I made for Sunday "dessert". It reminds me a lot of BREAD, so maybe this is a good thing to try out during those times when we need a little break from the egg-meat routine. For the record the bf loved it, but said it wasn't all that sweet (go figure). It was plenty sweet to me! (just right, actually...)

                  Flourless Coconut Almond "Cake"

                  3/4 cups almond meal
                  1-2 tsp Stevia powder
                  1 cup desiccated coconut
                  2 eggs
                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                  1/2 teaspoon almond essence
                  1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
                  A few spare almonds to decorate.
                  Hand whipped cream, optional

                  METHOD : I put the coconut and almonds in a food processor all together.

                  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line loaf pan with baking paper or foil.
                  2. In a food processor, combine almonds and coconut, and run on high speed until its a fine meal. It will be slightly oily due to the coconut.
                  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, stevia and almond essence. Gradually add melted butter, whisking until combined.
                  4. Add butter mixture to coconut mixture, stirring until smooth.
                  5. Spoon into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Decorate with spare almonds.
                  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes. let cool completely, then cut into 1/12th bars. Serve with cream, if desired.

                  Nutritional info for 1 serving (1/12th of cake) :
                  Cals Fat Cals Protein Fat Fiber Carbs Sugar
                  240 161 4.35g 23.8g 2g 3.6g 1g

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                  • #10
                    I use a packet of Stevia in the Raw for my morning cup o' joe. Sadly, it tastes pretty poor in coffee. I drink stronger stuff and can't stand coffee without something sweetening it a bit.

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                    • #11
                      Usually I do not seek a sweet taste. However, I use stevia occasionaly. The stevia I use is a crushed leaf or two from the bushes that grow in my yard. That is stevia in the raw, natural, and real. It is not a processed food like all of the forms you find in the market--even "health" food stores.
                      In the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

                      shotgun always wins.

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                      • #12
                        I use the leaf right from the bush too. Shame it is an annual where I am but if I keep it small I can bring it in every year. Just a few miles south and things would be fine.

                        Sometimes for refreshment when doing garden things I just make myself a chaw from some leaves.
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                        Bekandze maha bekandze

                        Randza samu gate soha

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                        • #13
                          I use 5 drops of liquid Stevia in my salad dressing each day. Now and then, if I have a cup of herbal tea, I put a couple of drops in it. I refuse to use artificial sweeteners. I don't see a problem with Stevia. Even when I use it, it is not to make anything overly sweet - only to take the edge off of the tartness in lime juice, or the bitterness of tea.
                          Rebecca

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                          • #14
                            I bought a bottle of stevia about a month ago, with the specific intention of using it in my tea (of which I normally drink between 3-6 cups a day) First cuppa of the day always has a teaspoon of the real thing (sugar) in it, and the rest of the time, I try to remember 1 drop of stevia. If it helps in reducing my overall sugar intake, then thats good. I dont think I could really be getting a major insulin spike from a teaspoon of sugar or a drop of stevia. I just want to enjoy my cup of tea....sweetened!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RezH View Post
                              I use a packet of Stevia in the Raw for my morning cup o' joe. Sadly, it tastes pretty poor in coffee. I drink stronger stuff and can't stand coffee without something sweetening it a bit.
                              Try less bold coffee

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